Mah Legislature adjourned over Mah-Karnataka boundary dispute

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Mumbai, Apr 17 (UNI) Sinking political differences, both houses of the Maharashtra Legislature were today adjourned without transacting any business to express solidarity with participants at the day-long dharna at Azad Maidan demanding early settlement of the long pending boundary dispute with the neighbouring state of Karnataka.

As soon as the Lower House assembled at 1300 hrs after a four-day break, Narsing Patil of Jan Surajya Shakti (JSS) party who represents Chandgad constituency on the Mah-Karnataka boundary requested Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar to take up his adjournment notice to set aside the question hour and discuss the boundary dispute and express solidarity with the participants of the dharna organised by the Sanyukta Maharashtra Seema Samiti.

While in the Council, Shiv Sena group leader Madhukar Sarpotdar requested the Chair to take up the adjournment notice on the boundary dispute by suspending the question hour.The demand was supported by members of all political parties including Jeetendra Awahad (NCP), Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) and Nitin Gadkari (BJP).

Criticising Governor S M Krishna in the Lower House, Mr Patil said Maharashtra should not have accepted him in the gubernatorial post as during his stint as Chief Minister of the neighbouring state, he had declared that Karnataka would not concede even a single village to Maharashtra.

''We should rectify our mistake and take a decision who should be Governor. There is no personal animosity, but it would be better if he leaves on his own,'' Mr Patil said.

Mr Patil's demand for discussion on the issue was supported by Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam, BJP leader Gopinath Munde, PWP leader Ganpatrao Deshmukh, CPM member Narsayya Adam, senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai, Shalinitai Patil (NCP), Raju Shetty (Independent) and K B Patil (Congress) among others.

They said the need of the hour was for the state government to present its case 'forcefully' in the Supreme Court. The case is likely to be heard in the apex court in August and the Centre is yet to file its say in the court. Ganpatrao Deshmukh said the Lower House should adopt a resolution demanding that the Centre make its stand clear in the SC in a month's time. Mr Desai said the Legislature had passed a resolution of early settlement on the issue on five earlier occasions and time has come to agitate on the issue in New Delhi.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the resolution should be that the Centre file its reply to the Supreme Court before the hearing comes up in August.

The discussion lasted for an hour and half. Later, the Chief Minister moved a resolution of adjourning the house without transacting any business and said all the 288 members of the Lower House would go to Azad Maidan under the leadership of the Speaker to express solidarity with the participants of the dharna.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by a voice vote.

While replying to the impromptu debate in the Upper House, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said ''Maharashtra was always given secondary treatment by the Centre and we could get separate state for Marathi speaking people only after 105 people lost their lives''.

The people of Belgaum and the other adjoining areas were struggling for the last 45 years and so in order to express solidarity on behalf of ten crore people of the state, the house be adjourned, he said. He further said all members led by Chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh would call on the participants of the dharna.

UNI MR JM ADG MA PC1737

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